A Russian man who murdered his mother and later joined the Wagner Group paramilitary organization has been given a hero’s burial, according to reports.
Sergei Molodtsov was buried with military honors in the town of Serov on Jan. 5, Russian publication E1.ru reported.
The 46-year-old supposedly died while partaking in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is still referred to by the Russian government as a “special military operation.”
Details regarding his death were not disclosed.
Before joining the Wagner Group, Molodtsov was serving an 11.5 year-sentence at a Russian penal colony over the death of his mother.
A court in Serov had convicted him of murder back in March 2017 after he fatally beat his mother while drunk.
Molodtsov used his hands and feet to deliver at least six blows to the victim’s head, torso and limbs, court records showed.
As a result of the attack, Molodtsov’s mother suffered a broken jaw and shoulder as well as a smashed face and head.
Molodtsov, who denied guilt during the trials and attributed his mother’s death to an accidental fall, was now being described as a “fun-loving” guy who helped other people.
“He was a creative person; he was fond of bone carving and worked in a jewelry shop. Relatives remember Sergei as a remarkably unconventional man who loved life. He was an honest man,” Serov’s administration wrote in a tribute posted on the Russian social media site VK.
“Truth was what mattered the most to him. He was always there for those in trouble, for those in need of help,” the statement read, according to a translation provided by the independent Russian outlet The Insider.
The Wagner Group, whose members have been accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine, has sustained more than 4,100 deaths and 10,000 wounded in the war, a United States official said Thursday.
The organization’s fighters have participated in Russia’s escalated attacks in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Bakhmut and Soledar.
Russian billionaire Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner Group co-founder and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is allegedly interested in taking control of the salt and gypsum mines in Bakhmut, The Guardian reported.
The oligarch claimed Wednesday that his troops have completely taken over Soledar despite claims from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry that fighting in the city was still ongoing.